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January 19, 2011  | by: Brandon Kirby

David Fincher's The Social Network starred Justin Timberlake

This past weekend brought the broadcasts of the most important precursors to the 83rd Annual Academy Awards: the 16th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards.  The verdict?  David Fincher’s The Social Network continues to dominate this awards season with painful predictability. 

Oscar Awards Won't Be Surprising This Year

Even before this weekend, The Social Network had been dominating critics circles and associations across the nation, making it on to many reputable publications’ Top 10 lists and more often than not nabbing the #1 spot.  This chart from Metacritic shows just how far ahead it has pulled in front of other year-end award contenders.  This praise is warranted, though, as what was originally laughed at for just being a movie about Facebook has become the best reviewed film of the year.  The films is being interpreted as an evocation of the way we interact with each other today and the story of how this one invention changed the way we communicate forever.

The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards aired Friday night, and as predicted the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) awarded The Social Network with the top prize of Best Picture along with Best Director for David Fincher, Best Adapted Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin, and Best Score for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Following this was the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night where I thought the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) would award The King’s Speech for Best Picture Drama over The Social Network, similar to last year’s decision when the HFPA awarded Avatar over The Hurt Locker.  This created a bit of drama last year entering Oscar night, wondering whether the Academy would follow the HFPA or the BFCA.

This year, however, the HFPA followed suit and The Social Network took home the same four awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Score.

With these wins, there is no doubt The Social Network will go on to dominate the Oscars in February.

Natalie Portman in Black Swan

Likewise, the acting awards have turned into a no-brainer.  Colin Firth won Best Actor both nights for his role as the stammering King George VI in The King’s Speech, while a pregnant and radiant Natalie Portman won Best Actress twice for Black Swan as the psycho-obsessive ballerina who loses her mind.  The true life story of Irish Micky Ward (The Fighter) got recognition for its two supporting actors: Melissa Leo for Best Supporting Actress as the fast-talking mother and Christian  Bale for Best Supporting Actor as the crack-addicted brother.  These two won at both ceremonies, and all four acting wins are now locked in tight for Oscar night.

While the early buzz held hopes for Lisa Cholodenkos’ The Kids Are All Right, the story of a modern family led by a lesbian couple, now its only likely wins came last night at the Globes for Best Comedy and for its lead, Annette Bening.  Bening was originally predicted to go on and win the Best Actress Oscar, but has now been eclipsed by Portman.

Christopher Nolan’s Inception has lost most of its writer/director-related buzz.  Nolan originally got snubbed for 2008′s The Dark Knight at the Oscars.  Though he hasn’t gotten snubbed for nominations this year, wins that were originally considered locked for him have been lost in the proceedings of last weekend.  The Hollywood dreamscape mind-bender is now instead a guaranteed winner of the technical awards at the Oscars as it won Best Art Direction, Editing, Cinematography, Sound and Visual Effects at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.

The next step in the lineup of awards season is the release of the nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards on January 25.  Plan on joining an Oscar pool this year to make some extra dough because picking out the winners is easier than it’s ever been.

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